How far Apart are Your Contractions?
No not those contractions… silly!
I’m talking about muscle contractions. What? You’re not having contractions? That’s probably why you still look like a twiglet!
Muscle contractions are key to building long lasting quality muscle, yet so many trainees that want to build muscle still treat their workout like some sort of Crossfit isolation workout.
Why would you even care about contractions? Just move some heavy ass weight, right?
Building good quality muscle is all about how long you can maintain tension in the working muscle before it gives up on you. If you’re just trying to move as much weight as you can, you’ll probably find that the muscle you want to train isn’t the one doing most of the work. Yes, it’ll get involved, but can you really say that it’s taking most the work through the movements? Probably not.
This is something I’ve started to see more and more in recent years. Especially when it comes to the Instagram education crowd. It’s easy to look at someone in a 15-60 second video and try to mimic what they’re doing, but are you getting as much out of your workout as they’re getting from there’s?
To make sure you’re getting the most from your workout, you need to be able to flex the target muscle against the resistance/weight. If that’s something you can’t do, then you need to work on it before you begin moving heavier weight.
How Do I Flex On; Flex Off?
Flexing or contracting a muscle at will is a learned skill. For some people, it does come a little easier than others, but generally it’s something that even the pros need to work at. The way you train this is as simple as it sounds, there’s no rocket science to it. Stand in front of a mirror and flex like your life depends on it. I’m serious…
Back in the day, when I started training, my coach taught me one simple thing. If you really want to build an incredible mind-muscle connection, master the 8 bodybuilding poses and practice them every day. Back then, he had a very specific subset of people in his audience. It was people that wanted to get as big as possible or just build impressive amounts of muscle and just look amazing. I realise that may not be you, but the same rule still applies.
If you’re a girl trying to build great glutes by following the tips in my ‘Let It Grow’ article, then you may need to practice some other poses. But learning how to forcefully squeeze and contract your glutes, even when not doing any exercise is a skill you’re going to have to conquer to build buns of steel.
What are these magical poses and where can I see them?
In classic body building there are 8 poses that a competitor must perform to display their hard-earnt muscle to the judges. These 8 poses are as follows:
- The Most Muscular (Chest, Traps, Biceps, Quads, Ugly Face)
- Side Chest (Chest, Bicep/Tricep, Shoulders Hamstring/Glutes)
- Front Double Bi (Biceps, Chest, Abs, Quads)
- Back Double Bi (Biceps, Lats, Shoulders, Glutes, Calf)
- Side Tricep (Tricep, Hamstring, Shoulders, Glutes, Chest)
- Quad Isolation (Quads, Abs)
- Front Lat Spread (Lats
- Rear Lat Spread
Here’s a quick video of a bodybuilder showing you the main 8 poses.